IDB IFD-INE Methodological Guide Emerging and Sustainable Cities Initiative (2014)

AUTHOR:This document was prepared by the Emerging and Sustainable Cities Initiative (ESCI) under the coordination of Carolina Barco (Senior Advisor), with the assistance of the Office of the Coordinator General.

DATE:July, 2014

TOPICS: sustainable cities

SUMMARY: It is a fact that cities in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) are witnessing an accelerated process of urbanization, which is creating significant challenges for sustainable urban development in the region. These challenges are relentless and require integrated treatment to meet the needs of the present without compromising the well-being of future generations. For this reason, the Emerging and Sustainable Cities Initiative (ESCI) emerged in 2010 as an institutional proposal of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), with the objective of supporting, through a multisectoral vision, the emerging cities of LAC in Its efforts to improve the quality of life of its citizens. The immediate objective of the proposal is to contribute to the environmental, urban and fiscal sustainability of the cities of the region and their governance. In order to achieve the proposed objectives, and with the support of McKinsey, a consulting firm, the ESCI in 2010 and 2011 developed a rapid application and diagnostic methodology that helps cities to prepare their action plans by identifying interventions strategies that contribute to achieving sustainability in the short, medium and long term. One of the results of this stage was the launch of the first edition of the ESCI Methodological Guide in June 2012. Simultaneously, in order to test the methodological instrument designed, the Bank implemented an initial application in five pilot cities. Since then, the ESCI has been moving towards achieving the proposed goal: Apply the methodology in 50 emerging cities of the region during the period 2012-15. Lessons learned from the 40 cities that have hitherto joined the Initiative have enriched the experience of applying the methodological tool, including identifying opportunities for improvement and deepening. It is with this experience that the Initiative now launches its second edition of the Methodological Guide, with the objective of giving a more effective support to the cities applying the methodology and to extend the concepts associated with the process. In order to make the ESCI methodology a regional public good, this second edition of the Methodological Guide has been designed to be used by: municipal government officials, municipalities and public entities at different levels; Officials from state and national development institutions; Local academic institutes; Non-profit civil organizations; IDB Specialists; And in general, any other type of institution linked to the sustainable development of LAC cities. The guide describes the step-by-step application of the ESCI methodology, implemented through a series of phases, from the formation of equipment and the collection of basic data to the planning of implementation strategies and the implementation of the monitoring system of sustainability. Each chapter includes activities, results and examples, along with useful definitions and advice. The achievement of the expected results using the methodological tool and the effectiveness of its contribution to the achievement of the proposed objectives depend on its disciplined and systematic application. In this sense, the cities of the region can count on the support of the group of specialists that are part of the IDB Initiative. The updated version of the guide is available at:,7641.html?#metodologia